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Med Hypotheses. 2014 May;82(5):507-11. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.12.016. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

Is there a role for palmitoylethanolamide in the treatment of depression?

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Department of Addiction, ASL CN2, Viale Coppino 46, 12051 Alba (CN), Italy. Electronic address:
Department of Mental Health, ASL CN1, Via Torino 70/B, 12037 Saluzzo (CN), Italy.


Depression is a common brain disorder affecting about 350 million people worldwide. Although the pharmacological treatment currently available can produce benefits in the majority of cases, residual depressive symptoms, cognitive deficits, functional impairment, and increase in frequency of relapses are frequently present in unipolar and bipolar depressed patients correctly treated. In the last years, numerous evidences have demonstrated the involvement of endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. Considering the recent findings about the antidepressant effect of palmitoylethanolamide in animal model, we have hypothesized the potential antidepressant effect of this fatty acid amide in unipolar and bipolar depressed patients.

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